# Tag Info

13

If you don't have a compass or other instruments, it is possible to measure the slope with your two (ski) poles solely. Just hold one pole vertically by using gravity and stick it into the snow. Hold the other one horizontally until it reaches the slope with one end and the first pole with the other end. Now you check the height in which the poles contact ...

12

There have been quite a few studies on this. There are various factors that will affect this, these include: Position in the snow: people upside-down sometimes live longer because the brain has more blood flow Equipment you may be carrying (aqualung, etc.) Injuries or bleeding: if you bang your head you could be dead before the avalanche even stops, etc. ...

10

Only 1 out of 10 survive Avalanches If you are completely buried in an avalanche the odds of survival are slim, unless you wear a transceiver (beacon), and you have partners that escaped the avalanche who have the right gear (beacon receivers, probes, and shovels) as well as the experience from practicing with them to save you. Statistics show that the ...

8

To put it simply, carry a compass with you that has a clinometer to measure a slope's angle, set one of your poles down on the slope and place the compass on top of the pole to get a solid reading. If you spend enough time in one area you'll start to become familiar enough with the terrain to remember roughly what the angles are and which routes are the ...

7

Short answer: stay near the edges of a big concave slope, near trees or rocks that could stabilized the snow pack, or at least on a convex ridge where the snow should be less deep. Long answer: the trail that fractured is probably incidental. The sunlight was probably compacting & lubricating the snow all day, and if that guy hadn't triggered the ...

7

Source: John Baldwin: Slope Angles from Map Contours View this page for a refresher on how to do the maths to calculate slope on a topographic map.

6

No there isn't. But it would be kinda nice if there was... A shovel is a shovel, they aren't a piece of fall protection or something that your life depends on. Someone elses life may depend on your shovel, in which case it is important to ensure that the shovel you carry will preform when you need it to, but you'll have to use your own judgment when ...

5

Two other answers have given methods for measuring this on-site. The trouble is that there's a lot of behavioral and sociological research showing that this doesn't really work. Once you get to the location where the activity is planned, you'll tend to go ahead anyway because you feel committed, and because there is a strong psychological need to show other ...

5

In this article in the bergundsteigen journal (unfortunately in German) the authors, one of whom is a known Swiss expert in the development of avalanche rescue systems and techniques, did a review of a bunch of avalanche shovels. As they do not cite any norms that these shovels must comply to but comment that some manufacturers seemingly don't even test ...

5

No, there doesn't seem to be any standard in place for avalanche shovels. Even though an avalanche shovel has to be depended on in a life or death situation, there are plenty of cheap ones out there that would snap in half shoveling well-packed snow. Try to avoid buying one online, and avoid buying any that have questionable customer reviews. If you can, ...

5

I don't have my copy of How to Survive in Avalanche Terrain in front of me, but one of the things that stood out to me relating to this is the wide variety of avalanche climates that exists not just from country to country but from mountain to mountain. You've got intermountain, continental, and maritime avalanche climates all with their own habits and ...

3

Ignoring having an airbag or airlung (which aren't common in the UK at least) Here is a list of things to do if your are caught in an avalanche. They should increase your chance of survival, obviously the best way to increase your chance of survival is to not get caught in an avalanche at all. Get clear 90% of avalanches are triggered by the people caught ...

2

You can use the common technique with the poles to measure the slope angle like discribed by @EverythingRightPlace. There is also a ski-pole-sticker that you can attach to your pole and then simply read the angle with a single pole (found on this website). There are also several smart phone apps for your smart phone to measure the angle of a slope. These ...

2

While it does not account for the difference between Canada and the USA, I'm pretty sure that one reason for the low numbers in Europe is that the latter has a lot of seasonal mountain pastures in active use, so livestock grazing keeps many slopes completely free of trees: In fact, the word "Alps" for Europe's main mountain range is related to the words ...

1

I wouldn't read too much into any avalanche statistic. While there may be plausible reasons behind the difference, the data sizes are just too small to make any reliable comparisons. Avalanches are exceptional events and avalanches that involve injuries that get reported are even more exceptional events. When you look at statistics based on infrequent ...

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